Body found 20 years after death in city apartment

The skeletal remains found in an apartment in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district on June 1 are apparently those of a man who died there alone 20 years ago, police said Wednesday.

Newspapers dated 1984 were found beside the body, suggesting the man had been dead for two decades without being noticed by anyone in the densely populated area of Tokyo.

The police said they are not treating his death as suspicious.

The apartment building was built in 1973, but no one had ever lived there because the real estate firm managing the building went bankrupt immediately after its construction, the police said.

They said the man used to work at a Tokyo-based construction company that owned the apartment, and believe he was living in the room without the firm’s knowledge.

The man, then 57, suddenly stopped coming to work about 20 years ago. And although he had a wife and children, his relatives apparently never asked the police to search for him.

In May, the apartment was sold to a company in Saitama Prefecture that later discovered the skeleton rolled up in a futon in a room on the second floor.